Hocus Focus

I’m trying to master distractions and reclaim my focus. In order to do so, I’ve been reading books and articles with techniques, tips, and tricks. Right now I’m trying the 18 Minute program from Peter Bregman. The basic idea idea is that you define areas to focus on in your life. Everything you say yes to should fit into and move you ahead in one of those focus areas. Then, day by day you plan your work based in the focus areas and calendar the work to be sure you have enough time to complete your tasks. If an item does not get finished in a day, it moves to the next day. After three days you have a few choices for that item- do it now, put it on a maybe list or forget about it.

I like the process so far. Calendaring my items shows me whether or not I have enough time to complete everything I think I can. It will help me decide what projects to take on because I’ll have a better idea of how much time I actually have.

i also like the process because it’s applicable to any job/life situation. It works for me as a contractor, but I can also see how it would be helpful to someone in an office. It’s really about where to spend your time, how to determine how much time you really have, and what to do with tasks that don’t get done.

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30-Day Blog Challenge, Day 27

A problem you have or have had in the past.

A problem that has recently developed for me is nonpayment from clients. I’m new to the freelancing world, but so far the majority of work that I’ve completed has been contractual. The companies that hire me provide a contract that explain when and how they prefer to be invoiced. So, I follow those directions precisely, because this is my livelihood here! I’m currently waiting on payment from two clients who were invoiced at the end of July. When I started to follow up about payment two weeks ago, one responded immediately and explained why accounts payable was behind and when the check would be delivered. The other client didn’t respond for a week. Every freelancer hopes to avoid this problem but I’m sure every single one has gone through it.

30 Day Blog Challenge- Day 9

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

Well, this one is easy. I’d be a writer. I’d make a living with my words, my ideas, my characters, my visions. I’m so fortunate to have found my way toward this path. I’m making small steps toward making this dream come completely true. For now, I still write for other people, but at least I’m writing. Someday, I’ll write my own fiction. Someday I’ll hold my own book in my two hands.

30-Day Blog Challenge- Day 8

I’m about a week behind, so I may not be able to catch up on all my posts today, but here’s a start.

A moment you felt most satisfied with your life.

About 6 weeks ago I left a job that I thought would be my forever job. I loved what I was doing, but a lot of change, but within the company and within myself caused me to reevaluate what I wanted out of life. I started this blog to chronicle my writing life and had often said it was tough to have a full-time job and be a writer. So, after much thought and many applications, I left my job to become a freelance writer.

On my first day staying at home to write for a living, I stepped out onto the back porch with my afternoon chai latte in hand and my two beloved dogs underfoot. When I reached down to pick up the ball Lamar had dropped at my feet, I realized I was living a dream. Maybe not everyone’s dream, but my very own. I found myself in a place where I was doing the work I wanted, working from home, playing with my dogs, happily married, a wonderful family, time for friends, and time to find space in my life. It was pure satisfaction. 

Can’t Stand Still

When I get an idea, I have trouble not following through with it right away. I think that’s why I have so many first drafts and not so many completed manuscripts. I love to follow up on new things. When I get an inkling of something, I get a little obsessed with doing it or finding out more.

I wrote last time about pursuing other avenues of writing, just to see what’s out there. I have a few great friends who make their livings as freelance writers and they’ve been nice enough to share (or plan to share) some of the ways they do it. I’m not looking to write fulltime, yet. If (and when) I do it will be because of my fiction writing, I hope. But in the meantime, I’ve been exploring some options for getting a wider audience and doing different types of writing.

This morning I completed my first web content job. It was writing copy for a few sections of a website. The guidelines were intense and it took me awhile to wrap my head around what they really wanted from me. But once I got into it, it was actually pretty fun. I think I’ll keep my day job and even put my fiction writing first, but it’s nice to know there are writing opportunities out there that pay, if you’re looking.

Some other great advice I got was to volunteer to blog for nonprofits. In those cases you can usually use your own name, which means I can add the clips to my portfolio. So I reached out through http://www.volunteermatch.org and made a connection. The editor liked my ideas for the blog, so I’m sending her some rough outlines this weekend. I hope my next post here will direct you to read another post of mine at a beautiful and important website!

My brain feels like it’s dancing with all the writing possibility and opportunities out there. Are you pursuing freelance work? Do you write full-time? How did you get into it?